There’s nothing quite like state competition

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

Waiting for the awards ceremony to begin, Pelham High School’s Lit Mag staff occupies a table at Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s (ASPA) recent State Convention. Advising the Lit Mag since 2004, I’ve learned much from ASPA. We won few awards in those early days.  After years of ASPA conventions and workshops, the PHS Literary Magazine Staff began winning the distinction of All-Alabama—the highest state rating for a school publication.

At this year’s state, the staff hopes for All-Alabama and Best Cover—after two consecutive second place covers.  Finally, we hope for individual awards honoring the devotion of those who created the 2019 PHS Literary Magazine featuring the work of the school’s artists, photographers, graphic designers and writers.

The spring 2019 Lit Mag is the most recently printed and judged at this competition. Many of the students who produced this magazine graduated last May. Did they know we were at ASPA?

“Good luck at competition today!” one of our 2019 Lit Mag grads texted at 2:58. The awards ceremony always begins at 4 p.m. Other staffers tell me they’ve received texts too. We’ve missed last year’s large crew of Lit Mag grads tremendously—and we’ve missed having a true Lit Mag class this year.

Overall Literary Magazine Awards are the first announced. PHS Lit Mag takes both All-Alabama and 1st place cover! Anna Carden and Kathleen Kelley created that state championship cover. Erin Riley took 1st place in drama and 3rd place in creative nonfiction.

Anna Carden racks up awards. Carden is a freshman at the University of North Alabama so Riley texts Carden her long lists of accolades. Chris Todd wins first place in essay; Harper North wins first place in Creative nonfiction; and Tramaine Moore wins first place in poetry. Carden and Emily Dodson capture both first and second place in Art Portfolio. Daniel Roman takes first place for his award-winning photo.

Winning state competition underscores students’ talent and drive. All students should choose their fields, compete, and discover their talents! Connected students are successful students. Meeting all students’ need and interests propels them towards success.